The Editor: On behalf of the entire Aamot family I would like to express our deepest and most profound thanks to the vast number of good people in Whatcom County and all across this nation who have showered us with the kindest considerations and condolences during this time. We are just a bunch of hicks from the backside of the sticks. Yet every single person we met in the United States military, from the lowest ranks to four-star general, treated us with kindness, courtesy and respect, at the same time exhibiting a higher level of professionalism than anything we have ever experienced. The loving support you demonstrated as you lined up alongside the streets and crowded onto the overpasses by the many, many thousands when we brought Aaron home awed and overwhelmed us. It has brought to mind what an early visitor to our Republic wrote, “America is great because Americans are good. America will cease being great when Americans cease being good.” I wish you all could have ridden with us and had a good look at yourselves. America is still great. Mark Aaron Aamot Custer
The Editor: I just finished reading the article in the November 16 edition of The Bellingham Herald about Blaine’s budget for next year. I am already a little upset with the council’s decision to eliminate the fees for new development. To add insult to injury, The Northern Light runs two articles on the front page, one announcing the council’s decision about development fees and one announcing the city is going to seek the maximum property tax increase. Imagine what a slap in the face it was to read this morning that the city now wants a huge increase in the sewer rates again, with part of the increase to help offset the funds the city lost because of the decision to eliminate fees for developers. When will the city and the council stop making its citizens pay for bad financial decisions? Will it be when no one can afford to or wants to live here? You cannot expect the people of Blaine to keep supporting a direction that costs us more and more money with little or no change for the better. More empty homes and more empty retail spaces are not change for the better. Jason Friend Blaine
The Editor: Time is running out for needy families to sign up for Thanksgiving dinner baskets. The Thanksgiving dinner baskets include a ready to cook turkey, stuffing, vegetables, dessert and much more. Families who want a basket should call Larissa or Jessie at Family Services 332-0740 in order to get one. The baskets are sized to the families getting them and so it is necessary to get on the list in order to get one. Although a family may have received a basket last year, they still need to apply again this year in order to receive one basket. Reservations should be made no later than Friday, November 20. Thanksgiving dinner baskets will be available for pick-up on Wednesday, November 25, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at Unit 330 in the Blaine International Shopping Mall near where Cost Cutter is located. Look for the banner out front. Brent Brentnall, Community Assistance Program Blaine
The Editor: As a college student and resident of Whatcom County, I am voicing my concern at the possibility of the WTA cutting services on Sunday due to state monetary issues. This will limit rides to students, to families, and to others who work on, travel on, and use the WTA on Sunday. My biggest concern immediately stresses the employees of the WTA who depend on their hours on Sunday to earn an income and some may lose their jobs. My thought also goes to family members who rely on the WTA to get to work and back, without the added expense of using their car. The WTA services are a blessing to those who do not use or own a vehicle to transport them to where they need to go. It may not be the only solution, but with an increase in taxes we can save rides on Sunday for those who desperately need it. I urge you to act now and think about the consequences of this change. In these difficult economic times, we don’t need another group of people losing their jobs and thus their way of bringing food to the table. Tiffany Go, WWU student Bellingham
The Editor and city council: During the last two months, you as members of the city council have made decisions that may not have been in the best interest of the majority of citizens. That question is debatable, depending on what side of the fence you are on. This morning’s article in a local paper on the status of the city’s finances clearly pointed that out (increased sewer fees). Now I could say we told you so, but that is a negative approach. I believe we all need to work together on how the council, business owners, and the citizens can make this a great, fun loving community that everyone wants to visit and become a resident. I especially look at the four members who are concerned about the downtown business to lead the charge. We should not be giving the store away, but by creating an environment that encourages people to say let’s go to Blaine. Until the whole community unites together we cannot expect an outsider to come in and fix our problems. After discussing possibilities with many citizens, I believe we have ideas on how this can be accomplished. Believing that you also want to see improvements for Blaine, I look forward to hearing from you. Terry Johnston Blaine
The Editor: I have worked as a volunteer on the Community Assistance Program’s Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets for many years now. It is a way of giving back to the community for me. There are other well deserving charities in our nation that need our support, but the Thanksgiving basket program helps families in need in the area where we live. And that’s important to me. The funding for this community outreach effort is provided by contributions from individuals in the community. We need your support this year, more than ever, to help those families who are being affected during this time of economic difficulty. Those desiring to contribute to this charitable work may do so by mailing a check to the CAP Thanksgiving Basket Fund, P.O. Box 1067, Blaine, WA 98231. Donations may also be made at Cost Cutter, Bank of America, Sterling Bank, and other supporting business in Blaine. Look for the turkey signs at these businesses. CAP is an approved 501(c)3 charity program, under the Peace Arch Christian Ministerial Association and any donation is fully tax deductible. Mike Nelson Blaine
The Editor: Students in the Blaine Chamber Choir are fundraising and willing to work hard. If you have a small job, gardening, raking leaves, walking a dog, digging a ditch, hanging Christmas lights, painting, etc. which needs to be done, call Carol Ellingson at 319-4849 or Sabine Otero at 371-8778. Our chamber choir has been presented with an exciting opportunity. We are traveling to New York in April 2010 to perform in the “Festival of Music” competition. We will also be performing at the Cathedral of St. John the Devine, St. Bartholomew’s Church, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and Ground Zero at the World Trade Center site. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. We have been working hard to raise funds but much remains to be done. If you can help, we have a student who is willing to do some hard work. We are also holding a gift-wrap fundraiser at the “Winterfest” to be held at the old Goff’s Department Store. The times for this are December 4, 5 to 9 p.m., December 5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and December 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please feel free to also bring items not purchased at the Art Show for wrapping. Thank you. Carol Ellingson and Sabine Otero Blaine
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